Tips on how to Dumbbell Bench Press: Kind, Advantages, and Variations


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The dumbbell bench press is an upper-body train that entails mendacity on a bench and urgent dumbbells over your chest.

Just like the barbell bench press, it trains your whole “pushing” muscle mass and lets you deal with heavy weights safely and progress commonly, which suggests it’s preferrred for constructing muscle and gaining energy.

It additionally has just a few benefits over the barbell bench press that make it value periodically together with in your exercise routine. 

On this article, you’ll study what the dumbbell bench press is, the way it compares to the barbell bench press, the advantages of the flat dumbbell bench press, the best way to dumbbell bench press with correct type, the very best dumbbell bench press alternate options, and extra.

What Is the Dumbbell Bench Press?

The dumbbell bench press, or “flat dumbbell bench press,” is an upper-body free-weight train that entails mendacity in your again on a flat bench and urgent dumbbells above your chest.

The dumbbell bench press is equivalent to the barbell bench press when it comes to approach, besides you employ dumbbells as a substitute of a barbell.

Dumbbell vs. Barbell Bench Press

The flat barbell bench press is broadly thought-about to be the very best train for gaining chest muscle and urgent energy, and that is largely true.

You may elevate 17% extra weight if you bench press with a barbell than if you use dumbbells, which makes it one of the crucial efficient methods to progressively overload your chest muscle mass.

That stated, the dumbbell bench press isn’t any slouch on this regard. 

Analysis exhibits that the dumbbell bench press prompts your pecs barely greater than the barbell bench press, which at the least partially makes up for the very fact you may’t elevate as a lot weight.

That’s why it’s greatest to not suppose when it comes to barbell or dumbbell bench press, and as a substitute suppose when it comes to barbell and dumbbell bench press (which is the strategy I take advantage of in my best-selling health books Larger Leaner Stronger for males, and Thinner Leaner Stronger for ladies).

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Advantages of the Dumbbell Bench Press

1. It helps you practice your muscle mass by means of a full vary of movement.

A number of research present that muscle mass develop extra when educated by means of a full vary of movement, particularly in the event that they’re stretched as properly. 

The draw back of the barbell bench press is that your vary of movement is proscribed by the bar. That’s, you need to cease every rep when the bar touches your chest, despite the fact that you might in all probability decrease your fingers just a few extra inches and not using a drawback.

You don’t have that restriction when utilizing dumbbells. This implies you may practice your muscle mass by means of a larger vary of movement and stretch your pecs extra completely in every rep.

That isn’t to say the dumbbell bench press is superior to the barbell bench press, although. Your pecs get lots stretched within the barbell bench press when you use correct type, and as we’ve already seen, the barbell bench press lets you elevate extra weight than the dumbbell model, which is usually higher for muscle and energy acquire.

All in all, it’s greatest to make use of the dumbbell bench press as an adjunct train to the barbell bench press, and it’s best to embrace each in your program if you wish to maximize chest development.

2. It helps to right muscle imbalances.

Within the dumbbell bench press, either side of your physique should elevate the identical quantity of weight independently. 

That is helpful as a result of it helps you determine and proper muscle and energy imbalances as a result of one aspect can’t “take over” or “decide up slack” from the opposite, which regularly occurs within the barbell bench press.

3. It lets you practice round accidents.

Dumbbell workout routines enable your limbs to maneuver extra freely than many barbell workout routines, which lets you barely alter your actions to keep away from ache.  

For instance, your wrists are locked in the identical place throughout the barbell bench press. However throughout the dumbbell bench press, you may rotate them right into a extra snug place.

That is notably useful when making an attempt to “practice round” an harm, similar to a wrist sprain, shoulder niggle, or elbow tendinitis.

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Dumbbell Bench Press: Muscle tissue Labored

The dumbbell bench press trains your whole upper-body “pushing” muscle mass, together with the . . .

Right here’s what the muscle mass labored by the dumbbell press appear to be in your physique:


Dumbbell Bench Press: Kind

The easiest way to study correct dumbbell bench press type is to interrupt it into three components: arrange, press, and descend.

1. Set Up

Seize a dumbbell in every hand, sit on a flat bench, and relaxation the dumbbells in your thighs.

Lie again and hoist the dumbbells up by giving them a nudge along with your thighs so that you just maintain them on both aspect of your chest.

Arch your again barely, plant your toes on the ground, elevate your chest, and tuck your shoulder blades down and squeeze them collectively. cue is to think about pulling your shoulder blades into your again pockets like this:

Incline-BPress-2-Blogpost-Size-2 (1)

2. Press

Press the dumbbells towards the ceiling. As they rise, enable the weights to float nearer collectively (some folks like to the touch them on the high of every rep, however this isn’t essential). On the high of the rep your elbows ought to be nearly locked and the dumbbells ought to be 1-to-2 inches aside or barely touching.

Maintain your shoulder blades “down and again,” your elbows about 6-to-12 inches out of your torso, your decrease again barely arched, your butt on the bench, and your toes on the ground.

3. Descend

Reverse the motion and decrease the dumbbells to both aspect of your chest. 

It is best to really feel a deep stretch in your pecs and the handles of the dumbbells ought to be in step with your nipples.

The Finest Dumbbell Bench Press Options

1. Single-Arm Dumbbell Bench Press

The principle advantages of the one-arm dumbbell bench press are it lets you concentrate on both sides of your physique individually, which helps you develop a larger “mind-muscle connection.” It additionally trains your core muscle mass, which need to work arduous to stop your physique from twisting.

As a result of the one-arm dumbbell bench press is inherently unstable, although, you need to considerably cut back the quantity of weight you elevate, which limits the muscle-building potential of the train.

2. Dumbbell Ground Press

The dumbbell ground press is a dumbbell bench press variation that entails mendacity on the ground as a substitute of a bench. This shortens the train’s vary of movement (you may’t decrease your elbows so far as you do within the common dumbbell bench press as a result of they run into the ground) and makes it much less efficient at coaching your pecs.

That stated, it’s efficient for coaching your triceps, that are largely accountable for “locking out” your elbows on the high of every rep, and it’s a viable dumbbell bench press variation when you don’t have entry to a bench.

3. Alternating Dumbbell Bench Press

The principle motive for doing the alternating dumbbell bench press is that the arm that isn’t urgent will get a brief relaxation between every rep, which ought to hypothetically will let you use barely heavier weights or do an additional couple of reps. 

The draw back of this train is that even when your arms are “resting” they’re nonetheless supporting the load, so it’s possible you’ll discover that you just fatigue sooner with this strategy. 

The alternating dumbbell bench press additionally requires extra coordination and steadiness than the common dumbbell bench press, which suggests some folks discover it troublesome to carry out accurately.

FAQ #1: Dumbbell Press vs. Bench Press: Which is best?

Neither train is best or worse than the opposite. Each workout routines practice the identical muscle mass to an analogous diploma, so you need to use them interchangeably in your exercises.  

The advantages of the dumbbell bench press are that it lets you practice by means of a bigger vary of movement, which is helpful for muscle development, and it might be extra snug for some folks. 

One disadvantage of the dumbbell bench press is that it doesn’t will let you elevate as a lot weight because the barbell bench press, which suggests the barbell variation is superior for gaining absolute energy.

After all, there’s no motive to decide on only one. The perfect resolution for most individuals is to incorporate each workout routines in your program. 

That is how I personally like to prepare my coaching, and it’s just like the strategy I advocate in my health books for women and men, Larger Leaner Stronger and Thinner Leaner Stronger

FAQ #2: Are there correct dumbbell bench press requirements to intention for?

One rule of thumb you’ll usually hear for a very good dumbbell bench press normal is that it’s best to be capable of dumbbell bench press 80% of your barbell bench press (that’s together with each dumbbells). 

For instance, when you barbell bench press 200 kilos, it’s best to be capable of dumbbell bench press 160 kilos (80 kilos in every hand).  

Should you don’t do a lot barbell bench urgent, although, then use these pointers as a substitute:

Dumbbell bench press requirements for males:

Dumbbell bench press requirements for ladies:

Be aware: With these requirements, “Newbie” refers to anybody who’s been constantly coaching for 6-to-12 months, “Intermediate” refers to anybody who’s been constantly coaching for 1-to-3 years, and “Superior” refers to anybody who’s been constantly coaching for greater than 3 years. All energy requirements consult with the minimal complete weight (each dumbbells’ weight mixed) it’s best to be capable of press for a single rep (one-rep max).

FAQ #3: Is it doable to make a dumbbell vs. barbell bench press weight comparability?

It’s troublesome to make a exact dumbbell to barbell bench press conversion, however you may estimate your max barbell bench press weight primarily based in your max dumbbell bench press weight utilizing the outcomes of a research performed by scientists at Sogn og Fjordane College Faculty.

On this research, the researchers discovered that, on common, folks may elevate just below 20% extra weight on the barbell bench press than they might on the dumbbell bench press.

Which means that when you may do one rep on the dumbbell bench press with dumbbells weighing 80 kilos every (160 kilos complete), you’ll doubtless be capable of do one rep on the barbell bench press with round 200 kilos.

+ Scientific References


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